Staff

Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer

Randyx-2Randy Durband has had two careers in travel and tourism – twenty-plus years in senior leadership positions at some of the finest U.S. tour operators, having served as President for Travcoa, INTRAV, and Clipper Cruise Lines, (brands within TUI Travel plc), plus Executive Vice President of Tauck World Discovery. Following that, in his second travel and tourism career, Randy advanced the work of Sustainable Tourism as an advisor, consultant, and speaker.  He brings his knowledge of the business of travel, his global network of travel professionals, and a passion for sustainability to support the GSTC and the general sustainable tourism movement. He has held several board positions and committee memberships in travel and tourism organizations, and is a frequent speaker on sustainable tourism issues.

Contact Randy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
 
 

Hilary Sgalitzer, Director of Operations

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 Hilary has a varied background in biological sciences, outdoor education, and sustainable tourism.  She completed a Masters of Science in Sustainable Tourism Management at the University of Utah.  Hilary's research involved investigating tourists' motivations to donate to a travelers' philanthropy program at Ol Pejeta Conservancy located in Kenya, Africa.  During her time at the University of Utah she was also a Research Assistant, which led to the involvement of a number of other sustainable tourism studies.  Also, most recently she worked for The International Ecotourism Society as their Membership and Outreach Director.  Hilary has served a diverse set of roles in the sustainability industry, such as: guest services at a small ecotourism resort in California, instructing backcountry leadership expeditions in Washington and Wyoming, and coordinating volunteer trail restoration projects on Colorado's popular fourteener summit trails.  Hilary also has an extensive background in wildlife biology and restoration science.  She worked for many years as a field researcher studying endangered species in the coastal watersheds of Northern California and the high alpine lakes of the Eastern Sierra. 
 
Contact Hilary at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Guy Chester, Technical Director

Guy Chester

Guy Chester has been a member of the GSTC since its inception. He has chaired the accreditation panel during the development of GSTC's accreditation program, served on the GSTC Board of Directors, and was a member of the standards committee during the recent revisions of both standards.  EcoSustainAbility's founder and director, Guy Chester has been involved in sustainable tourism and ecotourism for over twenty five years. Guy was the founding Vice President of Australia's Ecotourism Association and a co-author of the Ecotourism accreditation program. Guy has worked extensively with sustainable tourism certification programs in providing standards development, administrative policy and procedures, training and auditing. Guy has developed highly regarded tourism strategies for Australian icon tourism regions including the Daintree, Port Douglas the Flinders Ranges and the South Australian Outback. He has also undertaken sustainable tourism and ecotourism projects for the World Tourism Organization and the Peoples Republic of China. Guy was the Team Leader for the development of the Fiji Tourism Development Plan 2007-2016. Guy has recently completed nine regional tourism development and tourism product development strategies for the Papua New Guinea government. Guy has was the chair of the Accreditation Committee and has recently served as a member of the Standards Committee and a strong advocate for the GSTC's establishment. Guy is well known internationally as an expert in best practice sustainable development, in particular in ecotourism and infrastructure development in natural areas.

Contact Guy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Kathleen Pessolano, Destinations Program Director

 

KP PhotoKathleen Pessolano is Director of the GSTC Destinations Program. She also serves as Associate Technical Director for the GSTC. Kathleen is an attorney and international practitioner at the intersection of tourism and sustainable development. She assists destinations with planning, policy, and management systems to develop tourism while protecting the natural and cultural resources loved by visitors and residents alike. Kathleen especially enjoys working directly with communities to build capacity, devise strategies to broaden community benefits from tourism, and launch public-private governance structures for sustainable destination management. Kathleen is particularly passionate about coastal tourism issues and small island development. In the last decade, Kathleen has worked for the GSTC, The Heritas Group, Cultural Heritage Partners PLLC, Sustainable Travel International, and served as an attorney for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Before law school, Kathleen helped the Center for International Private Enterprise advance private sector development in Latin America & the Caribbean.

Contact Kathleen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Amos Bien, Associate Technical Director

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Amos is a population ecologist by academic training and administrator, and works in the field of the sustainability of tourism and standardization. He was the lead consultant in developing the “Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria”, author of the “Tourism Sustainability Scorecard” for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), member of the ISO Technical Committee on Tourism, author of the “Guide for Tourism: Instrument for Environmental and Social Management” (IUCN) for the environmental authorities of Central America and the Dominican Republic, and lead consultant for the study “Policy elements for the sustainability of cruise tourism in Central America” (IDB and INCAE). He also recently worked for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) on sustainable tourism issues, where he coordinated the projects for establishing a Global Sustainable Tourism Partnership and the Sustainable Investment and Finance in Tourism (SIFT) initiative.  He is a founding member of the GSTC and is the founder and CEO of Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge and Reserve, one of the first ecolodges and private reserves in Costa Rica. He has also worked as a university professor, and in business administration, environmental auditing, and construction. He was the founding president of the Costa Rican Private Nature Reserves Association, president of the Costa Rican Youth Hostel Association, treasurer of the Federation of Costa Rican Environmental Organizations, member of the National Biodiversity Commission, and a country representative to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development.

Contact Amos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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